Top Tips for Implementing Business Continuity Management (BCM)

And last but not least… BCM!

We’ve shared our top tips for implementing both IRM and VRM and in the final blog, we’ve asked our experienced mob members once again ‘What advice would you give to anyone looking to implement the Business Continuity Management application on the ServiceNow platform?’

This post will go into the key recommendations & common themes across GRC, that came from the teams who’ve successfully deployed BCM.

1. Understand Existing Applications

Once you’ve made the decision to implement BCM on the ServiceNow platform it’s key to understand the current application being used (if applicable), what are the current pain points, what processes are utilised and what functionality is being leveraged in that application and how do those translate to the out of the box functionality in ServiceNow. Having this assessment completed upfront will reduce the risk of elongating project timelines due to unclear project goals and what is required to deliver a minimum viable product.

2. Create a Roadmap for your plans

Ensuring that the business continuity and disaster recovery plans are ready to be input into ServiceNow is key to any implementation as it will significantly reduce project timelines. These should be reviewed as part of deploying a new application for their accuracy before uploading them into ServiceNow. If those plans aren’t in a good position define a roadmap which iteratively improves the readiness to upload those plans and ensure that they are of a high quality and align that with the project timeline.

3. Assess CMDB Maturity

Customers may not have a fully implemented CMDB and it’s worth understanding what data will need to be in the CMDB to maximise the use of the functionality in the application such as automating plan maintenance by connecting the underlying infrastructure and their associated owners.

4. Align to Industry Best Practice

Typically, clients will have a home-grown version of BCM industry best-practice, ServiceNow has been developed in a way to align with industry best practice and therefore aligning with that will stop customers from customising the product and potentially effecting your upgrade path. I like to use the term ‘adopt not adapt’ as it significantly reduces project timelines and is an opportunity to re-align processes to standards from recognised thought leaders such as the Business Continuity Institute.  This can take time though, so consider it early in your project. 

5. Review your Data Model

As previously mentioned, ensuring your data model is aligned with the latest version of the Common Services Data Model will ensure that BCM can access key foundational data from the CMDB and ensures consistent and reliable information is available for reporting. Start by understanding the source tables for ServiceNow BCM and ensure data is migrated to those source tables prior to implementing BCM.

6. Post Go-Live Analysis

Once you’ve gone live with BCM it’s worth understanding the ongoing effort required to leverage the best of the application. Consider the following and what it will mean for the day to day users of BCM and how much input will be required from the various contributors:


  1. How often must plans be updated and approved?
  2. How often must BIAs be updated and approved?
  3. How often must plans be exercised?

That’s our top tips for implementing BCM which will ultimately improve your organisations resilience and allow you to recover quickly from crisis events.

By James Morrisey

‘The Adviser’

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